I have exhausted every possible search topic I can think of and I’m still stumped, so I hope there is someone, somewhere out there who knows what I’m talking about!
Years ago (and I mean about 35-40 years ago) I read a short story in a school textbook about a couple of young teenagers, a boy and a girl, who were close friends. They weren’t rich, but the boy fell in love with a girl at school, the typical beautiful girl from a better (if not well) off family, who only dated the “lettermen” at school. He was an athlete but due to circumstances, could not afford a letterman sweater. He finally managed to borrow the money for the sweater, which he allowed the girl to wear (you have to realize this story was probably set in the '40s or '50s when such a thing was a big deal) and all seemed well, until he had to start working after school jobs to pay back the money for the sweater. Result: he had less time to spend with the girl because he had to work, keep his grades up, and, of course, practice and play ball in order to retain the privilege of being a “letterman” and she eventually broke up with him because he wasn’t “fun” anymore.
In the meantime, his friend, the girl he’d grown up with, also started dating another boy on the team and she wore HIS letterman sweater. Her friend noticed that she wore the sweater with pride, cared for it and kept it clean, and was a big supporter of her new boyfriend… everything his dream girl hadn’t done. He realizes that he should have seen his friend as a girl worth having as a girlfriend and after the breakup, he asks his friend if she would wear his sweater. She says she can’t right now and he understands that she won’t just dump her current boyfriend like his former girlfriend did him. And pretty much that’s how the story ends.
Any ideas at all as to the title or the author? I don’t know where else to look for answers!